“Inadvertent mistake”: Supreme Court says no criminal contempt case registered against journalist Rajdeep Sardesai


In an extraordinary development, the Supreme Court has said that no criminal contempt case had been registered against journalist Rajdeep Sardesai, adding that the case list shown on the top court’s website was an ‘inadvertent mistake.’ The top court said that corrective action was being taken to update the case list, published on its website.

According to the Bar and Bench website, a statement by the Supreme Court said, “This is in context with news item being flashed in some news channels about initiating suo moto criminal contempt proceeding against Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai by Supreme court, it is made clear that no such proceeding has been initiated against Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai. However status shown at Supreme Court website vide case no. SMC (Crl) 02/2021 has been placed inadvertently. Appropriate action to rectify the same is under process.”

The news of the Supreme Court’s website registering suo motu criminal contempt case against the senior journalist based on a complaint by one Aastha Khurana had gone viral.

Khurana, a resident of Haryana, had highlighted several tweets posted by Sardesai both before and after the Supreme Court judgment in the contempt trial of Bhushan.

Khurana had made references to other tweets posted by Sardesai alleging that the journalist had cast aspersion on Justice Arun Mishra, who had heard Prashant Bhushan’s contempt case, and former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, who later accepted a Rajya Sabha nomination.

Khurana had first approached Attorney General KK Venugopal for granting consent to initiate a criminal contempt case against Sardesai, but the AG had turned down the request. The complainant had then moved the Supreme Court directly.